This epic 23 day trail through Europe balances all the sightseeing icons with unexpected marvels and underrated destinations. From walking the cobbled streets of Michelangelo's Florence and seeing Paris lit up at night, to being blown away by the fairy-tale beauty of Slovenia's Lake Bled, getting a sobering WW2 education in Poland and bunking down amid snow-capped mountains in the Swiss Alps, this is a barnstorming European best-of. Because we don't want you to miss out on the unmissable.
18-days of heart pounding adventure kick off today. Meet up with your Contiki posse & share notes on London town before hitting the road to Amsterdam.Shortly before we find our ferry for France, we'll be taking in the English coastline beauty of the White Cliffs of Dover. They owe their gorgeousness to their composition of chalk - you're learning and we haven't even left the UK!Off the ferry we arrive in the port town of Calais - French soil! We travel north via Belgium before reaching...Amsterdam!Cross off another country off your list as you cruise through Belgium on your way to Amsterdam.Tonight, the famed-for-fun Amsterdam is ours to explore. First fill up on your included group dinner, then an undisguised Red Light District & plenty of bars are there for the curious.
Amsterdam is cute as a button & sure to win your heart with its canals, obscure museums & a café culture like no other. Today use your time to get local, bar hop, museum crawl, and see what other tastes take your fancy, this place is famous for pancakes, frites and so much more, and that's all before we enjoy a delicious included dinner with the rest of our Contiki fam.
Out of Amsterdam, onto the autobahn and on the fast-track to uber-cool Berlin. That's on today's agenda.On the world map of cool party vibes, Berlin has a gold star. We've got two nights to explore every inch of this amazing city, and we'll kick it off with a bit of history into the city and its troubled and interesting past. Once we arrive your Trip Manager can point you in the right direction to go and see the sights.
Get into the mood of exploration. Berlin has so much to offer the hungry traveller, from the obvious icons like Checkpoint Charlie to all the obscurities tucked away in the side streets. Spend the day lapping up history, scouting the Berlin Wall and dialing up your intellect at sites like the Russian War Memorial, Brandenburg Gate & historic Reichstag building. That way you can let loose a little in the evening without a hint of remorse.
"More city hangs" you'll all scream in unison as we motor out of Berlin, high on life & still wanting more. Since you asked so nicely, let us present you with Prague, the darling of Europe.A drive from Berlin to Prague would not be complete without stopping in Dresden. Destroyed by World War II, the rebuilt town is now a symbol of resilience, soaked in the rebirthed beauty of an Opera house, the domed Frauenkirche, & the Royal Residence.On arrival in the compact & lovable city of Prague, we'll get out and go exploring, seeing castles and cathedrals and learning of Bohemia Kings and gothic history.
With a full day to loiter, expect an entire photo album of Gothic architecture, market antics & you cheers-ing cheap beer; not to mention life!Tonight, you could see yourself spending the evening indulging in traditional Czech cuisine while admiring the local folklore dancers as the sun goes down on the 'City of a Thousand Spires.
Today we exchange the Czech Republic for Austria, waving goodbye to pretty Prague knowing that cultured Vienna is coming right up.Before Vienna we'll be stopping in the Bohemian city of Kutna Hora, remembering that Bohemia is the name of the place and not a nod to the fashion sense of the people that live there. Make the local Sedlec Ossuary chapel a high priority, it's decked out and furnished in the bones of over 40,000 ... humans. Eeep!Austria, we have arrived! And we're ready to get straight into your musical legacy. Put your name next to the optional classical night out in one of the city’s imperial palaces, you will not regret it.
A whole day lies ahead to uncover the ethereal Austrian capital. Our Trip Manager will uncover the historical heritage of Schönbrunn Palace, the State Opera House and the gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral. And once you've seen all that, you'll have a bit of free time to check out art galleries and local coffee houses, maybe even try a slice of the famous Sacher Torte.
Rise up travellers and start practicing your Polish pleasantries, we'll be in Krakow later today so they may come in handy.Today we will change pace once we cross the border, as we drop to an unfamiliar and sobering level by visiting the concentration camp memorials of Auschwitz & Birkenau. Learning and growing is what we travellers do.Then afterwards its onto the city of Krakow, which is now known for its silver mining heritage and tales of mythical dragons. Relax tonight as we have all day tomorrow to explore.
A Jewish Quarter, a jaw-dropping castle & museums aplenty are just some of the relics found in the relatively untouched Krakow. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed centre should occupy your free time, but conserve some energy for the option to get involved with a traditional Polish Pierogi evening.
Alpine scenery and traditional villages will make our departure from Krakow more manageable. Particularly with the knowledge that we have Budapest coming up in the eve.Pastel painted and manicured to perfection, Banska Bystrica is a lunch break that will charm you to no end. Being in Slovakia, it's also your chance to brag 3 countries in one day - you crazy globetrotter you.Welcome to Hungary! Coming in at number 3 on our list of countries ticked off through the day. From the moment we arrive in the river split city, you'll understand why we needed a couple of nights here. Waste no time getting involved with Budapest by joining the optional river cruise and dinner.
The day is yours to tackle Budapest however you see fit. After all the travelling we've done, you've probably earned yourself an afternoon soaking in the cities famous outdoor thermal pools set amongst Art Nouveau architecture. Blissed out in Budapest - there's an insta caption for you. If gardens, fountains, pools and ruins are the call of your day, put St Margaret Island top and centre of your to do list.
This morning we say goodbye to the city of Budapest and head south to Slovenia! Though the name Ljubljana might not be as well known as Budapest, that doesn't diminish its delight as a European city. In fact, its undiscovered charm is all part of the fascination...WOW is probably the one word we hear in unison as we pull up at this jaw dropping lake. Don't forget to keep your swimmers out today, this is the perfect place for a dip to break up the journey, and grab a few lust-worthy snaps.Aesthetically wonderful and filled with youthful moods, Ljubljana is one to love for its off the tourist trail vibes and casual attitude. Without a list of monuments to tick off, you're free to get cozy in a cafe and lap up the endless local feels.
Ever the advocates of a balanced holiday, today we're trading in the obscure unknown for the globally adored hot spot of Venice. Whoop!Yes, it's as cute as you imagine. Yes, you'll feel like you're part of an Italian fairytale. Yes, you are actually hanging out in the gondola clad floating city of Venice! A private boat ride, gothic architecture and a web of lanes to explore will keep your day filled quite nicely.
Farewell floating city, but Italy, we're not done with you yet, our next destination the Eternal City is just around the corner.The afternoon will really take it up a notch as we uncover Italian icons in the country's capital of Rome as you get a glimpse of it's glory by night. Gelato, pizza and ancient monuments - perfecto!
Rome wasn't built in a day but we sure can try and see it all in one day!Snap pink azaleas by the Colosseum, throw coins in fountains and sip espresso in a pretty street watching Italian life float by.
We may be hitting the road again, but we're not done with Rome just yet. Make the most of it this morning with our Local Guide's optional tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Then afterwards, we hit the road as we have one more city in Italy to lust over…For those of you not familiar with the whole Florence deal, we have two words for you: it's heaven. Potter along the River Arno or be totally Tuscan with our trip to a 16th century Tuscan winery, where you can explore the fascinating castle and taste the local Chianti wine and some prosciutto. If not, simply take in the beauty of the city and its protruding Duomo Cathedral.
Today is a perfect balance of guided wisdom, food and free time to roam. Take the opportunity to explore streets bursting with heritage and delicious flavours in an optional street food walking tour, or take yourself to the local markets and down some gelato. Tonight you can choose to end your Tuscan love affair at an optional dinner - think olive oil tasting, each meal matched with a locally produced wine and more.
Hopefully by now you are head to toe in fresh leather, you've eaten your bodyweight in antipasto, and you're feeling fresh as a daisy and ready to farewell Florence.No trip around Europe is complete without seeing the world's most famous #AwkwardLean, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Once you've got that perfect snap of you holding the thing up like you're Arnold Schwarzenegger, we'll be on the fast-track to the Swiss Alps.Bunking down amid fairytale snowcapped mountains tonight shows how far we've come since golden Florence this morning, and that right there is the magic of Europe. Tomorrow we'll set out to explore this magical land of cheese, chocolate and watches.
Open the window of your room & drink in the incredible view - if you can find words or photos that do it justice, we applaud you! If you're feeling audacious, opt to take a trip to a Swiss mountain with your travel crew, or feel free to explore this classic European adventure town.
Out with the altitude, in with the inner-city Parisian bliss. Once we've crossed the border out of Switzerland we will be coasting through the pretty wine producing region of Burgundy before our arrival in Paris.Lamp-lit bridges, a sparkling Eiffel Tower, & evening coffee haunts, tonight we fall in love with everything Paris. Our Trip Manager fills us in on the city's secrets, then to celebrate our first night in the city, we'll pop the champagne & experiment with escargot.
Fragonard Perfumery now there's a place to check in on Facebook! And stock up on perfume, obviously. Especially given the greatly discounted prices and authenticity of buying in France. Later you can moan over haute couture you can't afford, admire the Notre Dame Cathedral whilst juggling coffee and crêpes, & get artsy at the many museums of the Louvre. Just don't wear yourself out, you will probably want to get involved with dinner and a cabaret show. With your last night looming, make it one to remember in the city of lights.
Soak up your last dose of Paris and feel the astonishment of how much you've seen on this trip. And how close you've grown to your loved-up Contiki collective.What a journey, if you've chosen to end your trip on arrival in London say a fond farewell to the remainder of your group as you wrap up the journey on arrival.
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Trip Name: European Trail
Duration: 23 Days
From Price: $3,023
Supplier Tour ID: 63.1094/262034
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